Thursday, April 20th, 2017
In Chapter 4, Paul continued to emphasize his ministry and that of the apostles as one of servanthood unto Christ, and that the Corinthians should not worship them or other men, but rather imitate and share their faith in Christ. Our group members compared and contrasted personal experiences of being too tied to ‘human heroes’ and judgments while noting benefits of counsel from other believers. Retaining humility, gaining opportunities for growth, and learning from others’ past experiences were among the benefits described.
Paul took notice of the Corinthians’ increasingly proud nature, having taken God’s blessings for granted and failing to give Him thanks unto all things. Our group considered the notion of taking pleasure in coffee hour each Sunday and recognizing that those who prepare food and drink are the true servants, while those who indulge may or may not show gratitude for all the work that went into its preparation each week.
Paul further mentioned that his intent was not to shame the Corinthians, but rather warn and remind them of their foundation in Christ. In discussing ways to imitate Paul’s way of life and grow as a servant of Christ, our group members recognized the following personal growth opportunities: increasingly humbling oneself, sacrificing for and forgiving others, and avoiding gossip or casting judgments.
1 Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. 2Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. – 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift? – 1 Corinthians 4:7
14 I am not writing this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. – 1 Corinthians 4:14
20 For the kingdom of God depends not on talk but on power. 21What would you prefer? Am I to come to you with a stick, or with love in a spirit of gentleness? – 1 Corinthians 20-21